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Democracy Volunteers
Democracy Volunteers is the UK's leading election observation group. We observe elections to assess the quality of them and to report back to returning officers, the UK's Electoral Commission and to government. We do this by a combination of interviews with key election officials as well as in-person observations of elections, such as attending polling stations and the counting process.At major…
Description

Are you interested in improving the quality of the UK's electoral process?

Democracy Volunteers is Europe’s leading domestic election observation group. We observe elections to assess the quality of them and to report back to the people that run them, like Returning Officers, the UK's Electoral Commission and to the government on how they can be improved. We do this by a combination of interviews with key election officials, as well as in-person observations of elections, such as attending polling stations and the counting process.

On May 2nd 2024, we will be deploying around 250 voluntary observers, accredited by the UK’s Electoral Commission, to observe elections across a number of local authorities in England and Wales. No previous experience is required and full training will be given to all new observers by our team.

Election day will consist of traveling around your designated area (this will be somewhere close to where you are based) and visiting polling stations with a partner, in order to help us collect data on a wide variety of subjects. Election observation is a great way to learn more about the democratic process in action, learn more about electoral standards in the UK and contribute to civil society. You will be fully trained by our team through an online course, virtual seminar and in-person pre-deployment briefing prior to polling day, so do not worry, no prior experience is required! 

Please note that you must be apolitical to become an election observer in the UK. You must not be a member of a political party or be campaigning, or working for, any candidate who is standing for election.

 

Key things to consider before applying are:

 

  • You must be available all day from 6:45am until 10:15pm on May 2nd 2024. The day is very long and tiring, but enjoyable and rewarding! But that’s when polling stations are open for voters to vote!

 

  • You must be polite and respectful to all officials and the public throughout the day in line with our code of conduct. 

 

  • Have a positive can do attitude.

 

  • Be able to follow the training provided and accurately record data in our online survey through your mobile phone.

 

  • Be available for a training and deployment session in your area scheduled to take place in the weeks prior to the election (More details will be given nearer the deployment)

 

  • The total number of anticipated hours including training and observing is approximately 20 - 30 hours.

 

Skills you can gain:

 

  • Teamwork - It is important that observers work collaboratively as a pair and alongside the wider deployment.

 

  • Communication - Observers must communicate regularly with each other and the core team to update progress. Observers should also introduce themselves to polling staff when entering the polling stations and explain that they will observe the voting process for 30-45 minutes.

 

  • Organisation - Observers often arrange their own meeting times and routes throughout polling day.

 

  • Eye for detail - There is a lot to see in the polling stations, so observers develop an ability to monitor events closely.

 

  • Multitasking – Similarly, often several events often occur simultaneously in a polling station so multitasking skills will be developed!

 

  • Patience - We do not interfere in the process but observe it and report back to the core team afterwards.

 

  • Impartiality - Observers must not participate in any partisan campaigning before or during an election so we gain an understanding of issues from a range of standpoints.

 

Expenses are covered for travel and subsistence on polling day. Full training is conducted online and in person, and we will be holding a series of online events to tell potential observers more about the process.

 

Duties

Election day will consist of traveling around your designated area (this will be somewhere close to where you are based) and visiting polling stations with a partner, in order to help us collect data on a wide variety of subjects. Election observation is a great way to learn more about the democratic process in action, learn more about electoral standards in the UK and contribute to civil society. You will be fully trained by our team through an online course, virtual seminar and in-person pre-deployment briefing prior to polling day, so do not worry, no prior experience is required! 

Training
Comprehensive online training will be provided through our online school. This training will take around 3 hours and can be completed at your convenience. You will also need to attend a follow up training seminar where you can ask any additional questions you have about the role as well as a pre-deployment briefing which will take place in person in the week before the election.

Time commitment

You will need to be available for all of polling day on May 2nd 2024. You will also need to be available for an introductory chat, a welcome meeting, online training, training seminars and other events. These will all have various dates and will be conducted on multiple occasions to allow for flexibility to fit into your schedule.
Application deadline

This organisation is one of our community partner organisations.

Like all volunteer recruiters we work with, they have signed up to our service standards, agreeing to abide by our policy on partnership working to keep you safe and supported whilst you volunteer.

You’ll never be out of pocket for volunteering through us – with in-London travel expenses to and from your volunteering guaranteed.

In addition, the team here at Students’ Union UCL Volunteering Service is here to support you throughout your volunteering journey – you can get in touch with us at any time.

Events

Volunteer Short-Term Election Observer (May 2nd) - No Experience Required
01/05/2024 | 23:00 - 02/05/2024 | 22:59